A fundamentally important and unique aspect of Craft CMS is the concept of elements.

An element is the most basic unit of content.

Since this is a web-based content management system, often an element will include a unique URL. It may involve text, imagery, important relationships to other content, even variations by language or site or drafts that aren’t ready to be published.

In the control panel, you’ll encounter the element types Craft makes available:

  • Assets store files that are uploaded to a volume.
  • Categories are taxonomies that resemble folder structures and can be nested.
  • Entries are posts that can have drafts, revisions, and live previews. They can exist as one-offs called “Singles”, ordered by date in “Sections” or visually sorted as “Structures”.
  • Global Sets are floating bits of content that aren’t tied to any particular page or other piece of content, ideal for bits of information you might want to show on every page of your site.
  • Matrix Blocks are powerful, easily combined and reordered groupings of content that can be used within the other element types.
  • Tags are flat taxonomies optimized for quick input and re-use.
  • Users are accounts for human beings with email addresses and permissions, organized into customizable groups.

There’s no limit to how many element types you use or how you combine them. You can use third-party plugins or write your own to include additional element types.

While each element type is unique in some way, it’s important to know that all elements are made up of their own custom fields that determine exactly what content should be collected and stored.